Page 5479 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2011

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MR SPEAKER: This is not a conversation, Minister Barr.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The festival fund is a recurrent allocation, so it is not as simple as it may seem for Mr Hanson to make the cheap debating point, have a go at public art and simply say that you could drag a capital allocation across. It would be a one-off allocation as opposed to a recurrent program.

In relation to the other points that Ms Le Couteur has raised in the second part of her amendment, I think the committee would argue that they do have that criterion about clear public information around the methodology, but if it can be made clearer I do not have an in principle objection to that. As for a simplified process for applications, again that may be possible, but you should of course want to have a certain hurdle and a certain amount of information before you allocate funding, so I think we would need to be careful in balancing simplicity with providing enough information to enable an independent panel to undertake a rigorous assessment. The group insurance option I think is an attractive one and I am happy to explore that further if that is not already available. It would possibly depend on the nature of the particular events.

I just want to make one final observation around the point Ms Le Couteur made about new and innovative events. I think it is possible and in fact should be encouraged within existing and longstanding community events to do new and innovative things within the context of the festivals. That is not to say that you have to have a new idea or a new festival every time, but I would have thought we would want to encourage those festival organisers to find new and innovative ways to engage more members of the community.

I think some of the most successful community festivals are evolving ones that respond to changing demographics in particular parts of the city and respond to changing tastes and interests that community members will express over the time. In fact the worst possible thing as an event organiser is to think that you have perfected something and it will never need change. So it is in that context that we still want to encourage new and innovative events.

Having said all of that, whilst I do not agree 100 per cent with every element of Ms Le Couteur’s motion, and given the late hour, I am not going to call a vote on it. We will be happy in acknowledging that it would appear that it is going to be supported by Mr Hanson, yes?

Mr Hanson: I am amending it.

MR BARR: You are amending it. In that case I will sit down and wait to hear Mr Hanson’s amendment before I declare final support for a position.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (9.09): I move the following amendment to Ms Le Couteur’s amendment:

Omit paragraph (2), substitute:

“(2) calls upon the ACT Government to:

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